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SNOWFLAKE CHRISTMAS

Donna Regina

Weihnachten Woanders B/W Christmas With You

    Berlin electronic duo Donna Regina recorded two songs for the 10th edition of the Snowflakes Christmas Singles Club. In ‘Weihnachten Woanders’ (‘Christmas Somewhere Else’), singer Regina Janssen reflects on how it feels to spend Christmas away from home. Somewhere else, in a strange town where nobody knows your name and no one is waiting for you. You miss the familiar sounds of Christmas, like the child that sings ‘Stille Nacht’ and you dream of being home again. It’s a feeling many people can relate to. Especially this year, a year in which so many people were forced to flee from their homes. Günter Janssen, the other half of Donna Regina and Regina’s husband, lays down a minimalistic tapestry of synths and drum rolls. A loop of street sounds, a sample taken from sound artist Paula Schopf’s 2021 album ‘Especios En Soledad’, forces its way into the song, and in the end overpowers voice and other instruments. ‘Weihnachten Woanders’ very much captures the year 2022 and the worrying times we are living in, in both lyrics and music.

    ‘Christmas With You’, the B-side of the single, was originally written and recorded by Polish indie band Old Time Radio for their 2009 Christmas album 'Sketches For Another Christmas Songbook'. Donna Regina again goes for a minimalistic electronic sound, but also adds a certain melancholy to the song. Partly due to the synths that in places resemble the sound of an organ, an instrument that appeared on so many Christmas recordings from the 1950s and early 1960s. The love-hate relationship many people have with

    Christmas is perfectly laid down in the lyrics: “We watch the cartoons / We sing out of tune / Kiss by the fireplace / Listen to those horrible songs / Do we know / It’s Christmas time at all?”.

    Regina and Donna Janssen debuted as Donna Regina in 1990 with the single 'Avec Le Temps' and released their debut album 'Lazing Away' in 1992 on Our Choice, a German sublabel of Rough Trade. In 1999, after four albums on Strange Ways Records, they signed to their current label Karaoke Kalk. Since then, they have released eight albums for the label. In 2015, Karaoke Kalk also released 'Dis Cover', a compilation of Donna Regina songs recorded by other artists like Dean & Britta, Bernard Burgalat, Mouse On Mars and many others. Donna Regina’s songs have been featured on compilations of labels like Rough Trade, Sonar Kollektiv, Klant Elektronik, Milan and Rolling Stone. Donna Regina was not Günther’s first band. In the early 1980s he was part of a Neue Deutsche Welle act with a very Christmas-related name: Heilige 3 Köninge ('Holy 3 Kings'). Their sole album, 1982's 'Zum Teufel Met Dem Kamel' has become very collectable. Günther was also featured as songwriter and musician on German singer Romie Singh's 1986 CBS album 'Masters' and later ventured into writing music for television and film. Regina Janssen also recorded as a vocalist with French musician Bertrand Burgalat, and sang several songs on his 2005 album ‘Portrait-Robot”.


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